Sparks, electricity, and heat are three of the things that might come into your mind when you are thinking about welding. And with anything that has three of those factors, you might think about the side effects that might occur to your health when you are carrying out a task such as that, which is completely normal.
That is why many that are just starting their welding adventure tend to ask is welding bad for your eyes. Well, lucky for you, we have dealt with a lot of newcomers, and we know the exact answer to the question that you have in your mind.
So, if you really want to know if welding eye damage is an actual thing or not, you need to carry on reading. And trust us, what you might learn from this article might not be something that you have expected in the first place.
So, Does Welding Cause Damages to the Eyes?
In short, it has the ability to cause some severe damages to the eyes. As you might know by now, welding and UV rays are something that goes hand in hand. And wherever there is UV radiation, there is a high chance of your eyes getting damaged.
From recent studies, it has been concluded that 25 percent of the welding damages are eye-related. Now that 25 percent might seem a little thing to worry about, but this percentile is standing on the topmost positions among all of the injuries that welding can cause. So, you must not take this lightly.
The UV ray is not the only culprit here. When you are welding, you will find that there is a lot of flying debris. And you know where the flying debris can end up? Your eyes! The debris that is kicked out in the air during the chipping, grinding, and brushing is a potential hazard for the eyes.
Infrared rays also join the cause of damaging your eyes in this process. The combination of UV rays along with infrared rays can cause some severe damage to your eyes. These are the things that most of the brands are going to warn you about in the welding machine’s packaging.
What Eye Problems Will I Face During Welding?
As we have stated, the welding process produces a wide range of rays. Staring from UV to Infrared rays to different visible spectrums, it will produce all of them. And the bad thing about these rays is that they are not really a friend for your eyes. These rays produce reflections, which end up in radiation.
Even if you have a little knowledge about radiation, you probably know that any of the radiation is not good for your organs. Especially, UV radiation is something that you need to wary of the most. The cornea and the lens of your eyes can absorb that, which can lead to some serious injuries.
You might have heard about the term “welders flash.” Well, what you might have heard about it is absolutely true. It is intensely painful, and in the worst cases, the damage is irreversible. Along with that, when the lenses and the cornea turns yellow over time, you will find it hard to find the correct contrast with your vision.
Now that you are a bit familiar with the term “welders flash,” you might want to know about the symptoms of it, right? So, let us not waste any more time and talk about them.
Like we mentioned, the pain in your eyes can be pretty severe. However, in the early stages, the pain will not be that much. It can start from being mild to being severe at a later stage. Our advice would be to take proper actions whenever you feel like your eyes are starting to hurt when you are trying to focus on something.
One of the common symptoms that most welders face when they are facing the welder’s flash is irritation. Likewise, this can be mild, and it can be severe at some point.
Another thing that is a common giveaway to the problem is blurriness. You will find that you need to put too much effort just to focus on something that is close or far from you.
This problem might be an indication of other problems that are related to the eyes. However, if you are exposed to welding rays, it is quite obvious that the problem that you are facing is related to welders flash.
Once you are affected by the problem, you might find that your eyes are getting too sensitive to light. You might like being in dark places, which is not always a good sign.
When you are exposed to UV and Infrared rays to a substantial amount, your eyes will be too watery. This symptom is a dead giveaway to the fact that you have welders flash.
The welders flash can lead to your eyes looking bloodshot. You will notice that the veins are clearly visible. And that is where you will know that the exposure has reached a serious amount.
You might face plenty of other problems when you are affected by this. In the worst case, there is a high chance that you will experience permanent retinal damage. And that can lead to cataracts, which none of us want you to go through. Fleeting is also another common problem that is experienced in this criteria.
How Can I Prevent the Eye Damages That Welding Causes?
We can not stress enough how important safety equipment is when it comes to welding. Without them, you will be on a battlefield with a stick. That is why we consider safety to be paramount in the case of welding.
Wear a Helmet
The first thing that you need to do is get yourself an ANSI-approved welding helmet. Remember, if you get the ones that are not approved by ANSI, it might not be efficient in protecting your eyes from the rays that we talked about. Our recommendation would be the ones that meet ANSI z87.1.
Those helmets have the ability to auto darken the vision, which is highly effective against infrared and UV rays.
Wear Safety Glasses
In some of the cases where you have to carry out the welding tasks for a prolonged amount of time, you must combine a safety glass with the helmet. Those two combined will be highly effective against the rays that can cause damage to your eyes.
Alongside that, the helmet and the glasses will make sure that the eyes are not exposed to flying debris, which can also cause some serious damage. Overall, if you have a proper glass and a helmet, there will be no need for you to worry about the welders flash that we talked about earlier.
In fact, we will confidently state that you can reduce the injury chances to about 90 percent if you have proper gears on your head. For that reason, you shouldn’t take the safety equipment lightly.
In a nutshell, our answer to the question of is welding bad for your eyes would be yes. However, the bright side is that you can prevent welding eye damage by wearing proper protective gear.